Today I was thinking about presents I have received over the years that I have particularly appreciated. Some of them had a monetary value and others did not. There were handmade gifts and ones I valued because they were useful. Some showed just how well the giver knew me and my tastes.
My first (and only) bicycle was a present I received when I was eleven. It was second hand and had been repainted gold. I thought it was the best thing ever and it gave me freedom. It was fantastic to be able to join my friends on bike rides on the weekends. I got more happiness from it because I had to wait a long time before I got a bike.
This isn't my first bike. Image:Marie Vonow
I recall receiving my first watch as a present the Christmas before I started high school. It seemed so special and I felt all grown up having a watch I could wear for school.
I have always loved owls and bought my first owl ornament for 3/- from Coles when I was eight years old. From that time my collection of owls slowly grew. When I was about 19 a friend gave me an owl when she was moving interstate. She had bought the owl a couple of years earlier in Bali. Knowing of my love for the bird that represents wisdom she gave me her blue wooden owl.
I have another owl, a teeny tiny one. One day my younger son was window shopping with me when he saw a really little owl. It wasn’t a special occasion but he bought it for me because he knew it would bring me happiness.
Owl from Bali and teeny tiny owl Image:Marie Vonow
About forty years ago a friend made a hand written recipe book for me. Recipes for many of the biscuits I had eaten at her place were included. She did little illustrations on each page and made a beautiful felt cover for it. This Christmas present was truly a labour of love. Whenever I use one of these recipes I remember my friend.
Handmade recipe book Image:Marie Vonow
A present can be worth far more than any monetary value it may have. Sometimes it is not the gift itself but the love that came with it that makes it so special. Richard Bach (author of Johnathan Livingston Seagull) said ‘Every gift from a friend is a wish for your happiness.’